Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Don't be embarrassed if you're red-faced

…W.C. Fields had a red nose—and it wasn’t all from his elbow condition. This is a skin disorder called rosacea. Princess Diana had it, too. Rembrandt, too. And president Clinton.

…More than 14 million Americans suffer from this chronic condition.

…It can look sort of like a thickish sunburn laid over forehead, nose or cheeks or all of the above. Or it can manifest with acne-like pustules.

…HA can hardly type the word pustules. (She hates the word secretions, too.)

…Usually this stuff springs onto your face after age 30. Over time, the flushing can widen into visibly red blood vessels. Eyes can also be bloodshot (40% of cases).

…Sometimes the thickening and enlarged blood vessels can W.C. the nose area.

…If you start getting facial rashes or problems, check it out. It’s best to treat this early.

…Some things that can trigger it: sun exposure, emotional stress, hot weather, wind, heavy exercise, alcohol consumption, cold weather, spicy foods, medications…the list goes on.

…There is no link between rosacea and likelihood of getting skin cancer. It’s also not contagious, nor does it seem to be hereditary. It’s also different from eczema, which is an autoimmune thing related to arthritis and asthma.

…Basically? Rosacea? Plain as the red nose on your face--just another cool deal to test our character.